Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Cold cuts are an American lunch staple, but unfortunately most of the deli offerings contain nitrates and/or nitrites. These preservatives are added to keep the meat from drying out, but it is generally thought that they could be detrimental to our health. Hence why cold cuts are on the list of foods to avoid while pregnant (though everyone should be cautious about eating too much).

Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

Lily loves the Applegate Organic Roasted Turkey Breast – which is free of antibiotics, nitrates, and nitrites – so I thought I’d try my hand at making my own version.

I bought an organic skin-on boneless turkey breast from Whole Foods, seasoned it simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted it until done. Roasting with the skin on ensures that the meat stays nice and juicy, but I prefer to remove the skin before eating.

Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

I did have a little bit of difficulty slicing the meat super thinly, but I assume the only way to replicate the slices from the deli counter is to buy a meat slicer… which I doubt we’re going to invest in.

The turkey is delicious sliced and stacked high in a sandwich or chopped and folded into a yogurt/mayo dressing for a play on chicken salad.

This recipe could also be used on Thanksgiving if you just want enough turkey for a few people.

I’m looking forward to trying various flavor additions, such as maple syrup, herbs, and seasonings.

Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40-60 minutes

Keywords: roast entree main sandwich turkey

Ingredients (8-10 servings)

  • 1 boneless skin-on turkey breast, preferably organic, about 2-3 lbs (I bought one that was already tied with butcher’s twine)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Preheat oven to 450°F. Drizzle turkey breast with olive oil and season all over generously with salt and pepper. Place the turkey breast skin side up on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan.

Place in oven. Immediately lower oven heat to 400°F. Roast until juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 170°F, about 20-25 minutes per pound.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let cool completely. Carefully cut and remove the twine before slicing thinly.

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